King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls are not Hawaiian enough, a new lawsuit charges.
The class-action suit, filed Friday in Manhattan federal court, accuses the maker of the popular baked products of defrauding consumers by suggesting they’re still made in the Aloha State.
In fact, they’re made in California.
“King’s Hawaiian has been known as the most authentic purveyor of its eponymous Hawaiian rolls,” Long Island attorney Spencer Sheehan, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Yonkers man and others, told The Post on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, they’re labeling gives consumers the impression that it’s made in Hawaii,” he said. “It’s not.”
The lawsuit, which names Yonkers resident Robert Galinsky as the chief plaintiff, concedes that King’s Hawaiian “essentially invented this category of food,” and said others companies have tried to emulate the rolls and their branding.
At least a dozen other food companies — from Pillsbury to Sara Lee — have packaged and marketed products dubbed “Hawaiian sweet rolls,” the suit said.
The objection, the lawsuit said, is the front label mention of “Hilo, Hawaii,” where the rolls were first made in the 1950s.
However, they’re now made in Torrance, California — and the suggestion of continued Hawaiian authenticity means consumers must pay a higher price for the buns, the suit charges.
“Defendant’s prominent placement of ‘Hilo, Hawaii,’ on the front label — copuled with the other legitimate uses of the word ‘Hawaiian’ — is deceptive and misleading to consumers who believe they are buying a product made in Hawaii,” the lawsuit said.
“Had plaintiff and class members known the truth, they would not have bought the product or would have paid less for them,” the suit said.
The suit seeks to have the company change its label, as well as unspecified damages.
King’s Hawaiian did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
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